Probably the finest burgers in Cyprus
There's always an element of doubt before eating at a new restaurant. Practicalities like what to wear, and how to get there form part of it, but the majority concerns the quality of the food. The last time we'd gone out for dinner was something of a disaster. The food took an age to arrive and when it did one of the dishes was practically cold, and when it returned it came back looking like a relative of the charcoal family. The other dishes were edible, nothing more. That evening stayed in the memory for all the wrong reasons, our meal at Artisan's burgerbar will linger long in our minds for all the right reasons.
The first of the many pleasant surprises is that the decor is far removed from the image I had preconceived of what a burgerbar would look like. Classy, simple elegance with a genuinely relaxed atmosphere. The bar occupies the central space and is an alternative seating option to the tables. The loud music and walls crammed with giant TV screens and fake memorabilia were nowhere to be seen, just simple wooden tables and chairs sufficiently spaced apart to give you a sense of privacy with well-tended greenery to admire. There is also plenty of seating outside, which will undoubtedly popular as evening temperatures rise.
Unsurprisingly, burgers of every conceivable variety dominate the menu, with a selection of Mediterranean inspired salads as an alternative. We opted to share the fig and goat's cheese salad - more than enough for four people - although the imaginatively conceived other options like Baby spinach salad with smoked pancetta and Grilled shrimp & smoked salmon on mixed greens warranted serious consideration. The freshness of the ingredients and the attention to detail afforded to presentation were very welcome, once again setting itself apart from other eateries where burgers dominate the menu. If there was one slight criticism it was that the balance in the salad dressing was a little heavy with balsamic vinegar.
For main dishes three of us opted for the signature beef burgers with caramelised red onions and cheddar cheese sauce while the other from the Alternative burger section – Grilled Portobello mushroom with grilled marrow. They arrived promptly and were again immaculately presented. The ingredients were top quality. Fresh US imported Angus beef is moulded into a burger shape minutes before it hits the grill - the freshly prepared ethos runs through everything on the menu - and is cooked exactly how you want it. The side orders are brought separately ensuring that only the flavours that you want to get to mingle together.
Desert wasn't really an option after we practically cleaned our plates. But the table conversation flowed long enough so that when the people sat next to us had their deserts brought to them we were sufficiently tempted. Four of us shared an apple pie served with vanilla ice-cream and a white chocolate soufflé. It's the first time I've tasted a white chocolate soufflé and it had a lighter flavour with a velvety texture than other versions I’ve tried. However, for me, the apple pie was simply divine. The light pastry encasing delicately flavoured fruit simple melted in your mouth. I'm sure I ate more than my fair share, and next time I'm ordering one all for myself. It's that good.
Why should I go?
The best burgers on the island
What should I wear?
Relaxed, casual just like the atmosphere
Who will I meet?
Everyone who loves burgers
How much does it cost?
Around €20-€25 per person including starters, deserts and drinks
Try the exceptional apple pie
20 Stasandrou Street, Nicosia. Tel: email: